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RESEARCH: Canola's amino acid digestibility in growing pigs

Increasing demand for protein for livestock feeding is leading to a renewed interest in canola meal in diets fed to swine.

Canola meal is a product of the rapeseed plant, an abundant oilseed crop grown in Canada, the Northern United States, and parts of Europe.
The oil is extracted for use in cooking and agriculture, leaving a high-protein meal that can be used in livestock feeding.
Although the concentration of protein and amino acids and the amino acid profile of canola meal is less desirable than that of soybean meal, its relatively low cost may make it an attractive option for producers.
New canola varieties
Recently, new varieties of canola that contain more protein and less fibre have been selected. The de-oiled meals of these varieties have a concentration of crude protein that is close to that of de-hulled soybean meal. 
However, there is no information about the digestibility of amino acid in high protein canola meal when fed to pigs.
It has also been speculated that changes in the traditional pre-press solvent extraction oil removal procedure may improve the quality of canola meal.
The traditional procedure involves use of heat to desolventise the de-oiled meal, but a new procedure allows for production of canola meal using a low-temperature procedure.
There are, however, no comparative data between meals produced using the traditional high temperature procedure and meals produced using the low-temperature procedure.
Therefore, an experiment was conducted with the objective of comparing the digestibility of amino acids in high-protein canola meal with the digestibility of amino acids in conventional canola meal and in soybean meal.
The second objective was to compare the digestibility of amino acids in canola meal produced using a low-temperature process with that of canola meal produced using a traditional high-temperature process.
Key points

  • The digestibility of crude protein and amino acids was less in canola meal than in soybean meal regardless of the source of soybean meal used.
  • Amino acids in high-protein canola meals are as digestible or better digestible than the amino acids in conventional canola meal.
  • More digestible amino acids will be provided to pigs if high-protein canola meal is used rather than conventional canola  meal.
  • Processing canola meal at lower temperatures does not improve amino acid digestibility.

More data and trial setup can be found at the monogastric nutrition laboratory of Hans H Stein.

Editor PigProgress

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